It’s not just a fairly good fair; the Vinland Fair is the best of them all, says Julie Craig.
“The Vinland Fair is unique, and it’s better than most fairs,” said Craig, who along with her husband, Mike, have been presidents of the fair for years. “There aren’t the distractions that are at most fairs, like the distraction of the carnival.
“It’s a way to end the summer with a big picnic, a block party of family fun.”
This is the 102nd straight year that the fair has graced Vinland Valley, which is south of Lawrence. All the staples of the family fun fair are in place again — games, activities, talent show, tractor pull and food, lots of delicious, homemade food, including the famous to-die-for pies.
“The weather has been great, and we’re looking forward to it,” Craig said. “There’s nothing new, just a lot of the same old things that everybody loves.”
The fair — near the intersection of East 1700 and North 700 roads — kicks off today and runs through Saturday night. Highlights today are the Old Time and Modern Farm Skills contests at 2 p.m., the talent show at 6:30 p.m. and a performance by the Alferd Packer Memorial String Band at 7:30 p.m. Among the farm skills in the contests are nail driving, corn shelling, bale tossing and log sawing.
On Friday, games and races are scheduled throughout the morning and afternoon, with the “big four” contests including sack races and tug of war scheduled for noon. Friday’s big draw is the tractor pull at 7 p.m. The Wood Valley Pickers Band plays at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday’s schedule is: horseshoe pitching contest, 9 a.m.; box turtle race and pet parade, 11 a.m.; watermelon seed spitting contest, 2:30 p.m.; lawn and garden tractor driving skill competition, including the popular backseat driving, 5 p.m.; ice cream making competition, 7 p.m.; and Witness Band performance, 7:30 p.m.
The food menu features chili dogs and cornbread — a newcomer — on Thursday; chicken and noodles and barbecued beef on Friday; beef brisket and barbecued beef dinners on Saturday. Best of all, homemade fruit pies will be served all three days.
One favorite is missing after a two-year run. Hot-air balloons will not fly, a victim of the economy and lack of sponsors.
“We hope to get them back next year,” Craig said.